If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that 2017 was a big year: getting married, studied abroad, gave a keynote speech at a community college among other things. Despite all of these great things, one thing that you probably didn’t know was that I was driving around with broken windows in my car. For some weird reason, my car windows randomly decided not to come down no matter how hard I pressed the buttons. They stayed like that until this past Saturday. I didn’t have any real reason to not get them fixed. I had the money and the time to get them done, but I chose not to for a majority of 2017.
To be honest, I didn’t think having working car windows was that serious. I kept gas in my car so I had a/c and heat when needed. However, this became a point of contention more times than not with my wife and friends. I had one friend admonish me multiple times about getting the windows fixed because God forbid, an accident could happen that would require me to use my windows (think driving into a river or something- *editor’s note: Jamal doesn’t swim*). My wife wouldn’t ‘eem go to drive-thrus because she would be embarrassed that we had to open the doors to talk or get food. It was worst when I’d pass gas OR I’d see someone walking the street that I knew, but couldn’t say anything because the windows didn’t work. It didn’t bother me because I recall not always having a car or catching the bus everywhere. Hell, I drove a PT Cruiser in college! I was just happy to have a nice car and who cared that I didn’t have working windows? I thought it was funny…My wife? Not so much.
Again, I didn’t think it was that serious. It wasn’t until I got them fixed over the weekend that I realized I was being super foolish by not getting this issue taken care of sooner. The safety of myself, my wife, and friends was put in danger. I wasted time having to get out of the car to order food instead of using the drive through. I missed out on the sun and cool, brisk wind hitting my face as I drive down the freeways at 90 mph (don’t judge me). Needless to say, I appreciated having my windows come down.
As I drove back home, I reflected on how the broken windows can symbolize some of the issues or emotions that we are handling ourselves. The issues stay there and we don’t address them at all, yet, they could possibly be putting us in danger. We’ll make excuses for not resolving them or just act as if they’re not that big of a deal.
For whatever the reason, we tend to others’ issues and concerns, way more than we do our own. I thought about some of the friendships that haven’t been on the positive end of the spectrum and I decided to address them this weekend. I thought about some of the stressors/issues with family and friends that I tried to ignore only brought negative energy into my life.I decided that it was time to do the necessary work to resolve the them and needless to say, it felt good to open up about my feelings due to the broken friendships with people. I took ownership of my actions and and made the situation right. Similar to when my windows came down for the first time in almost a year, it was refreshing. I felt a sense of peace and I loved feeling the wind against my face again.
What are some of the broken windows in your life right now? How are you handling them?